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Pairing up the Policy Address and the Budget

A few days ago, the Government informed the Legislative Council in writing that for this term of Government, the Policy Address would be delivered in January each year, followed by the Budget in late February or March.

Taking account of this year's experience in preparing the Policy Address and the Budget, we consider that narrowing the time gap between the Policy Address and Budget has the following four advantages:

  1. Enabling better co-ordination and interaction between policy formulation and budgetary planning;
  2. Enabling the community to take into account public finance priorities when discussing policy initiatives;
  3. Ensuring that initiatives announced in the Policy Address that require funding will be implemented as soon as possible; and
  4. Providing the public with a holistic picture of the Government's policy initiatives, set against the overall economic situation.

I hope that the public will actively participate in the Policy Address and Budget consultation exercises to be conducted later this year. By putting forward their views and specific policy proposals, the community can team up with the Government to seek changes while maintaining stability for Hong Kong.

June 7, 2013